Monday, March 1, 2010

Fun Lasagna

I started making this lasagna based my Italian grandmothers recipe who, according to my mom, actually got it from her Irish mother in law. Only in America!

Over time, I have worked hard to increase the fun level of this recipe until it has become the sloppy mess you see above. That's how we do it at TFK, folks, big and saucy.

Here is what you need:

About a gallon of pasta sauce (seriously, I use a lot)
1 package lasagna noodles
1 15oz package ricotta
3 cups shredded cheese
1 egg
handful of fresh parsley
2 tbsp olive oil

The pasta sauce I used here is my super beefy pasta sauce. I used nearly all of it from the recipe to give you an idea. You will need two or three big jars of store bought sauce to make this stuff if you chose to go that rout. To me, part of the fun of making the process of making lasagna is it takes all day. Put on some tunes, relax and have some fun. Make your own sauce. It's worth it.

First thing is to begin boiling the lasagna noodles as per the directions on the package and set the oven to preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit if you are cooking it that day. While the water heats, in a large bowl combine the ricotta, about a cup of the shredded cheese, one egg, a couple tablespoons and a handful of chopped parsley. This will become the gooey cheese layer.

The original recipe specified two to three eggs. I just use one. I don't know why I changed that but sometimes I just roll w/ these things and don't really worry about it. You don't have to use any at all. The great advantage of that is that you can then taste the cheese mix without fear of contracting horrible egg disease.

You will probably be done w/ this well before the noodles are cooked but once the noodles are cooked, lay them out on some waxed paper so they don't all stick together. That gets us to the part I always used to need to refer to the recipe for, the order of the layers:

First a layer of sauce then some noodles:

Then spread the gooey cheese layer:


You need to do this layer sideways. Trust me. From here you add a layer of shredded cheese and some sauce:

And there you can see the beginning of the next layer of noodles at which point you repeat this process from the gooey cheese layer on. I always forget how many layers there are. Just fill the tray. That's how I keep track. Make sure to use plenty of sauce for maximum fun.

When you're done, it'll look like this:


A lot of people like to add another layer of cheese at this point but it's my considered opinion that if you have not gotten enough cheese in there yet, there is no helping you, so I just leave it topped w/ sauce. Make sure to get a good layer on there though to keep the noodles from drying out. It also helps to cover w/ foil. At this point you can either put it in the fridge overnight and save for the next day or cook it right away. Cooking times kind of vary on this. If you are using fresh hot sauce you just made, it takes only about thirty minutes. If you refrigerated overnight or used cool sauce that you prepared before hand it can take an hour or more. It should get to 160 degrees Fahrenheit internally (which you can check w/ a meat thermometer) to cook the egg. If you put a layer of cheese on top, take off the foil for the last fifteen minutes.

And there you have it, Fun Lasagna, the best lasagna on earth. If you are the kind of person who likes a layer of cheese on top, let me know about in the comments, though I doubt you will do anything but embarrass yourself w/ your poor grammar and spelling.

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